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Karlsson on the Roof

Although Karlsson could, of course, build cranes and other things, this time he had contented himself with putting one block on top of another, making this very tall and very thin tower. The top of the tower had been decorated with something which was evidently meant to look like a dome. It was a little round meatball.

Chapter 3 - Karlsson Surprises Betty and Roger

It was a difficult moment for Eric. Mommy did not like her meatballs to be used as ornaments, and she seemed to think that it was Eric who had decorated the tower.

“Karlsson-on-the-Roof …” began Eric, but Daddy cut him short with a stern, “That’s quite enough about Karlsson, Eric.”

Betty and Bobby only laughed.

“Some Karlsson!” said Bobby. “So he had to go and sneak off just when we wanted to see him!”

Sadly Eric ate up the meatball and put his building blocks away. It was no use talking about Karlsson any more now. But he did miss him—he missed him very much.

“Let’s have our coffee and not bother any more about Karlsson,” said Daddy, stroking Eric’s cheek gently.

They always drank their coffee in front of the fire in the sitting room. And so they did tonight, although it was a warm, light, spring evening and the lime trees along the street were already covered with small green leaves. Eric did not like coffee, but he liked to sit with Mommy, Daddy, Bobby, and Betty in front of the fire.

“Shut your eyes, Mommy,” said Eric when his mother had put the coffee tray down on the little table beside the fireplace.

“Why do you want me to shut my eyes?”

“Because you said you didn’t want to see me eating sugar, and I think I’ll have a lump now,” said Eric.

He needed something to comfort him, he felt that quite plainly. Why had Karlsson gone? It was not a proper thing to do, to disappear and leave nothing behind except a small meatball.

Eric was sitting in his favorite place by the grate, as close to the fire as he could get. This coffee time after dinner was nearly the nicest part of the whole day. You could talk to Mommy and Daddy, and they listened to what you had to say.

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